Thursday, July 26, 2007

Remembrance of things past

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

Shakespeare, Sonnets (XXX)

(This is of course the source of the title of original English translation of Proust by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff. I like the newer one more. This one sounds too lachrymose. Also inaccurate since remembrance is a voluntary act, whereas Proust deals with the phenomenon of involuntary memory.)

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